I've been a bit under the weather this week so the blogs are a bit hehind.
Today, I want to talk about payoffs. What do I mean by payoffs? In regards to relaationships, I want to ask you to look at your payoffs. Why do you stay in a bad relationship of any kind whether it be a frienship or a marriage? What is your payoff? What do you perceive to be gaining? What do you perceive you have? Perception may be your reality but that doesn't make your reality good for you. My reality was certainly not good for me.
I have recently had to ask myself some tough questions about my last marriage - the things I could not ask myself during the grieving process. I had to ask myself what my payoff was for staying with an abusive man? Was it status? Was it money? Was it not wanting to be single? Did I feel sorry for him? What it a lie I had believed? What exactly was my payoff?
After some careful consideration I arrived a few conclusions, none of them good for me. First, I did feel somewhat sorry for him - never a good reason to get involved with anyone. Afterall, he was good at making you feel sorry for him. A classic hallmark of an abuser. Second, I liked the idea of being married, even if it was not to such a great person. Marriage did provide me a certain amount of status you don't get as a single person. This was nothing but pride, dangerous pride at that. And last but certainly not least, I had believed the lie about myself that I was not good enough to garner someone better - a belief I had held unbeknownst to me since childhood. Deep down inside I felt I did not deserve better and wanted to fix my late husband. I can see this with much clarity now and honestly thank God for His grace that kept me safe and for His healing that has shown me what my payoffs were in that relationship. Does this sound familiar?
In the past two weeks I had to ask myself this same question again regarding a friendship. What is your payoff? Are you just comfortable with this person? Do you think if you hang around long enough you can change this person? Are you allowing this person to control you indirectly?
It did not take long for me to find my answers, in fact they came from my so-called friend. This person was trying to control me indirectly and I believe in many instances this works well for this individual because this person targets people who really aren't paying attention. I also in some way believed I could help this person see the spiritual potential in themselves. In reality, I can't do that, only God can. Pride played a role in this as well. With payoffs identified, I could make a better decision about not having this person in my life (having awesome friends looking out for me was very instrumental as well).
Payoffs give us insight into what we are thinking and why we are taking certain actions. They can also give us a clue as to what we are believing that may not be true. I want to encourage you to look at your payoffs in relationships. They may not be the payoffs you are looking for, in fact, they may be harmful to you and to those close to you. Is the payoff worth it?
I will ask you again, what are your payoffs?
Until next time,